The Passing of Mental Health and Addictions Parity is a step forward in reducing stigma

“Mental Health and Addictions Parity is an important step forward to reducing the stigma associated with getting any kind of mental health or addiction treatment” said Michael Flora, President and CEO after hearing the news that the House had passed the Mental Health Parity into law as part of the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008.

“The law will provide parity between medical/surgical and mental health/addiction benefits in healthcare plans that offer mental health coverage. Health insurance plans sponsored by businesses with more than 50 employees will be prohibited from imposing day and visit limits or applying different deductibles, co pays, and out-of-network charges” added Flora.

The Parity Legislation makes clear that out-of-network mental health and addictions services will be provided on an equal basis when a plan provides out-of-network services for physical health.

In addition, all mental health conditions and addictions would be covered by mirroring the standard for mental health under the current parity law.

Previous legislation provided limited parity on lifetime and annual dollars available for treatment.

“Mental health matters to all of us. After all, mental health conditions strike people of all ages and are the leading cause of disability and premature death in this country. Over 54 million Americans suffer from mental health illnesses each year and cost our economy more than $193 billion in lost wages. “In fact”, Flora added, “Each year, in a typical office of 20 people, four will suffer from a mental health problem. The good news is that there are highly effective, cost-efficient and scientifically validated treatments for mental illness. Mental health problems actually have better treatment outcome rates than the vast majority of common medical conditions.” Good Mental Health is good for business. A growing body of research shows that employers’ costs due to employee mental health problems are far greater than just the costs on the mental health services. Three out of four employees who seek care for workplace issues or mental health problems see substantial improvement in work performance after treatment.

“The mind/body connection is undeniable. People who have untreated mental health issues use more general health services than those who seek mental health care when they need it.” Said Flora.” In addition more than 90 percent of employees agree that their mental health and personal problems spill over into their professional lives, and have a direct impact on their job performance. Mental health conditions are actually the second leading cause of absenteeism. And workplace stress causes about 1 million employees to miss work each day.”

This legislation is a welcome addition to the field of behavioral health. Ben Gordon Center, Inc. is an experienced provider of Family and Marital Counseling, behavioral health services including chemical dependency and substance abuse disorders, Mental Health treatment and counseling and Employee Assistance Programs. Ben Gordon Center, Inc. offers services in DeKalb, Genoa and Sandwich.

Ben Gordon Center offers mental health and recovery services for adults, children, and families in our community. Family Counseling, Mental Health, Employee Assistance Programs and Substance abuse experts are credentialed and licensed and are experts in their field providing

confidential quality care. Professionals include Psychiatrists, psychologists, nurses, counselors, social workers, chemical dependency professionals, case managers, vocational and employment specialists. Ben Gordon Center offers professional counseling and recovery with convenient offices to serve you in DeKalb and Sandwich Ben Gordon Center offers services on a sliding fee for those who qualify. Ben Gordon Center, Inc. also accepts Medicaid, Medicare, and all insurance plans. Ben Gordon Center, Inc. is fully accredited by JCAHO, the Office of Mental Health and the Office of Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services.